Rafael Nadal sent a message to the tennis world with the quality of his performance in reaching only his second final in eight months with a super-quick semi-final victory in the Qatar Open on Friday.
Nadal, who begins the defence of his Australian Open title in nine days time in Melbourne, needed only 67 minutes to win 6-1, 6-3 against Viktor Troicki, the in-form fifth-seeded Serbian - and the beating might easily have been even more one-sided. Nadal summoned such an inspired spell of fierce aggression, not at all typical of his heavy-topspinning, containment-oriented clay court style, that he took 18 points in a row while swarming all over his unfortunate opponent in the first set.
Paes-Dlouhy in final of Brisbane event
Top seeds Leander Paes and Lukas Dlouhy on Friday earned a shot at the title of the season opener ATP Brisbane International event after overcoming a second set lapse against Jurgen Melzer and Philipp Petzschner here.
The Indo-Czech pair edged past unseeded Austrian-German pair 6-4 0-6 10-7 in the semifinal of the hard court event. They will meet the winners of the Andy Roddick/James Blake vs Jeremy Chardy/ Marc Gicquel semifinal match in Sunday’s summit clash. Paes and Dlouhy had got a quarter-final walk over from Australian pair of Ashley Fisher and Stephen Huss, on Thursday.
Murray leads britain into Hopman Cup final
Andy Murray maintained his hot start to the year as he led Britain into the final of the Hopman Cup with a 2-1 victory over Russia on Friday. The Scot crushed Igor Andreev 6-1 6-0 after Murray’s teammate Laura Robson had been beaten 6-4 6-0 by Elena Dementieva.
Clijsters and Henin set up summit clash
Belgian comeback queens Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin followed the script to the letter on Friday to reach the final of the Brisbane International. Henin demolished third seed Ana Ivanovic 6-3, 6-2 to win the first semi-final while Clijsters beat unheralded German Andrea Petkovic 6-4, 6-2.